Kaitlin Cockerell, MD, is a general pediatrician at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Why is it important to get a flu shot?
KC: The flu is a contagious respiratory virus that can cause serious illness and sometimes even death in children. While it is still possible to get the flu despite being vaccinated, the vaccine is very effective at preventing the life-threatening complications of flu.
What are the predictions for this flu season?
KC: It is difficult to predict what will happen with the 2023-2024 flu season as the past three years have varied widely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we know the flu is responsible for a lot of office visits, hospitalizations and missed school and work each year.
What are the differences between flu, RSV and COVID-19?
KC: Flu can cause fever, muscle aches, congestion, coughing and vomiting. RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) puts infants and children under two at risk for severe wheezing and respiratory distress. COVID-19 subtypes cause various symptoms, including cough, congestion, fever, body aches, sore throat and loss of taste and smell.
Why should children get virus preventative shots, like the flu, this respiratory illness season?
KC: The flu vaccine is the best tool to protect children from severe influenza illness. Vaccination protects the community, especially those with underlying health conditions. Thousands of children are hospitalized for flu and other respiratory viruses annually. We now have more options to protect children with COVID-19 and RSV vaccines.
Call 501.406.0965 to schedule your child’s flu shot appointment today or visit archildrens.org/flu
1 Children’s Way
Little Rock, AR 72202